PRESS BULLETIN 174
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
AGRICULTURAL EXPERIMENT STATION
CHOOSING AND BREEDING PIGS
BY JOHN M. SCOTT
The following is the record of the four Berkshire sows kept at the Experi-
ment Station Farm during the past year:
First No. of No. of
Name Farrowing Pigs Second Farrowing Pigs
Minto's Maid July 15, 1910 8 March 19, 1911 9
Minto's Model July 17, 1910 7 Feb. 28, 1911 8
Model'sMaid July 17, 1910 7 Feb. 28,.1911 7
Model's Pride July 20, 1910 8 Feb. 27, 1911 7
Total 30 i 31
From the thirty pigs farrowed during July, 1910, twenty-six grew to ma-
turity. Of the thirty-one farrowed during February and March, 1911, twenty-
seven were saved. During the year the four sows farrowed sixty-one pigs,
and saved fifty-three, or 87 per cent. of all pigs farrowed.
These four sows were farrowed in May, 1908, and had their first litter of
pigs during November, 1909. The sows were therefore well grown and devel-
oped when first bred. Good breeding stock is often injured by being bred
when too young and immature. To obtain the best results with breeding
stock, the young animals should be well fed and cared for, and be well matured
before being bred. Young immature sows are likely to farrow pigs lacking
in vitality. Such pigs never grow and develop as they should, and hence are
more expensive to raise.
-* 1^ .A,
August 26, 1911
How PROLIFICNESS MAY BE MAINTAINED.
In choosing our breeding stock the factor of prolificness should receive
considerable attention. Select the breeding stock from large litters. Never
select an animal for breeding purposes, no matter how good an individual it
may be, if it comes from a litter numbering only two or three. It will be more
profitable to select an animal somewhat inferior in certain individual points,
but which is known to be from a prolific strain. The word prolific does not
only mean a large number of pigs in a litter, but it also refers to the regular-
ity of breeding. A sow may have ten or twelve pigs at a litter, but may only
breed once a year. Another sow may have seven or eight pigs at a litter and
breed twice each year. With one sow we would raise ten or twelve pigs dur-
ing the year, while with the other we would raise fourteen or sixteen. It is
easy to tell which would be the more profitable.
When properly handled and cared for, sows should produce two litters each
year. A sow that will produce only one litter each year will not be found
profitable. Such an animal should be discarded from the breeding herd and
replaced by one that will do better.
In the corn-belt section of the United States the hog has been given the
name "mortgage lifter." When properly handled, and under most conditions,
the hog is perhaps the most profitable animal on the Florida farm. The aver-
age annual profit that may be obtained from each sow during a period of years
depends on several factors, such as cost of feed, market value, loss from dis-
ease, but perhaps one of the most important is prolificness. Prolificness ap-
plies equally to the male and female. It does not necessarily apply to one
breed any more than to another. In all breeds we find that certain strains
are more prolific than certain other strains within the same breed. These pro-
lific strains may be chosen out, and kept up by proper selection.
State papers please copy.